Second Class 6C: Show first aid for: Shock
First Aid merit badge book, pages 8-9
Shock is the body's reaction to a serious injury. It is a general term that describes a weakening of the
body's systems, especially the cardiovascular system, at a time when they are needed most.
A person in shock will often appear pale, have clammy skin and possibly cold sweats. The pulse will
often be shallow and rapid. Breathing may also be very shallow. A person in shock may faint or vomit
(or both). If shock is not treated, it can cause death.
Treatment for shock should always come after taking care of the primary injuries.
To treat shock:
- Have the victim lie down and be calm. Start with no pillow.
- Cover him with a blanket.
- If his face is pale, elevate his feet. If his face is flush, elevate his head.
If the face is pale, raise the tail. If the face is red, raise the head.
- Monitor his condition and write down what you see:
- Take his pulse every five minutes.
- Note the breathing pattern: shallow/deep, quick/slow
- Check the injury and change dressings or make adjustments as needed.
- Look for additional injuries.
- Ask the victim for medical information: medical history, allergies, phone numbers of people to contact, etc.
- Talk to the victim and reassure him.
©2005 Sam Clippinger / samc (at) troop50 (dot) org
Last updated: 12/9/2005